Born and raised in Brooklyn, Soraya (spoken-word artist Suheir Hammad) travels to Palestine to retrieve her grandfather's savings, frozen in a Jaffa bank account after his 1948 exile. Struggling to feel at home in the land of her ancestors, she meets Emad, a young Palestinian whose ambition, contrary to hers, is to leave forever. When confronted with unwieldy official policies that deny her access to the fruit of her grandfather's life's work, she must take things into their own hands, even if it's illegal. Stubborn, passionate, and determined to reclaim what's theirs, she and Emad set out on a road trip for poetic justice across a lush Palestinian (now Israeli) landscape—after which there is no return.
Annemarie Jacir's award-winning directorial debut represents a fresh, viscerally affecting, and definitive statement from second-generation Palestinian Americans. Rife with symbolism, director of photography Benoit Chamaillard's color-saturated lensing of Palestinian landscapes and composer Kamran Rastegar's evocative score make palpable the yearning and frustration of a quest to reclaim what was stolen.
Annemarie Jacir is a Palestinian filmmaker and photographer who has been working in independent film since 1994 and has written, directed, and produced A Post Oslo History, The Satellite Shooters, and Like Twenty Impossibles. She works as a freelance editor and cinematographer and has taught courses at Bethlehem and Birzeit University in the West Bank. Recipient of several screenwriting awards, Jacir is also a poet and author. Salt of this Sea is her first feature film, and she is currently developing her second. Having been prevented from returning to Palestine, she now lives in Amman, Jordan.